Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is also commonly known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Embolism). All of the names mean that a blood clot has developed somewhere in the body and that it can potentially be fatal and result in death. Salisbury District Hospital is an ‘exemplar site’, which means it is one of the few hospitals in the country that has a good teaching programme for staff about this subject, as well as good patient information and patient education. It also does a risk assessment of every patient that is admitted to the hospital.
It is a well known fact that patients who have orthopaedic surgery are considered to be at very high risk of developing a VTE. The same is true of patients who have been involved in an accident that has caused a fracture and resulted in them having to wear a plaster cast.
If you are waiting for a planned operation there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of this happening following your surgery. Try to get as fit as you can before you come into hospital. Stop smoking and, if you are overweight, try to reduce your weight.
Whilst you are in hospital, remember to do deep breathing, leg movements, wiggle your toes and any exercises the physiotherapist has given you. It is also helpful to drink plenty of water.
You may be given a daily injection of something that makes your blood less sticky and is often called a ‘blood thinning’ injection. It will be given in your tummy or leg. You may be asked to continue with this injection for several weeks when you go home.
More information about this will be given to you by the hospital staff.
Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.